Obama, King Abdullah Press Conference 2013: Leaders Discuss Mideast Peace in Jordan

President Obama vows to "keep plugging away" on peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
3:00 | 03/22/13

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Transcript for Obama, King Abdullah Press Conference 2013: Leaders Discuss Mideast Peace in Jordan
This is a special report. From ABC news now. I'm sunny Hostin in new York and this is an ABC news now special report. President Obama is in Jordan now meeting with its King Abdullah the Second is alas not in -- president Obama's Middle East tour he flies back to the United States tomorrow but not before he tries to shore up this key alliance in the Arab world right now I want to bring in Alex Marquardt who is. In Jerusalem. Alex and the president today made a few symbolic stops before he got onto a plane. -- -- -- can you give us an idea about his day starting -- and that statement at the holocaust museum. Afternoon -- is sure thing it's been a busy day for the president. He woke up in Jerusalem and his first stop was on mount Herzl. -- where he went to see the graves of Theodor Herzl. Who is the the founder of modern zionism. Who lays in -- near the graves of -- -- Rabin. Israel's former prime minister was assassinated. In 1995. There she lay a stone on the grave of her being in the stone actually came up from the Washington DC memorial. Of Martin Luther King. -- from there he went over to Yad Vashem which is the holocaust museum it's a regular stop for visiting dignitaries and gave some remarks in which -- I discussed racism and anti semitism and and one of the one of the most memorable quotes from that from those remarks were. The State of Israel does not exist because of the Holocaust but with the survival -- strong Jewish State of Israel. Such a holocaust will never happen again. From there he got in his motorcade. And he went to Bethlehem. Where he toward it at the church of the nativity alongside president Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. From there he went to Tel Aviv and salute to Jordan where now we -- expecting to give remarks alongside King Abdullah the Second. And now Alex -- -- mentioned and that he did make his way to Bethlehem he was originally supposed to fly in their right but there was an issue. Spot with his travel. -- much of -- travel over the last few days has been on his helicopters Marine One he flies around with three helicopters are also several attack helicopters that have been -- flying alongside but as he emerged from the holocaust museum. This yellow sick dust storm blew in and it's actually blanketed. Much of the -- the region now it's it's cleared up but it was pretty clear it was so windy that the helicopters but wouldn't be able to take off so they scramble -- motorcade. Not just -- two. Presidential limousines known as the beast. But as well a long line of armored cars. And drove to to Bethlehem which is really not that's hard drive -- would have been more conveniences to take -- helicopter. Well what we're told -- with this travel change Alex that Palestinians actually cheered the change because it would need he would have to see how life is behind that wall the wall that we hear so much about just just how stark is the difference. That's out -- right when the news came through that he would be driving to Bethlehem. There was some shall we say joy. In the Twitter -- among Palestinians and pro Palestinian. Activists that he would. Get to see he or have to see rather. Perhaps a part -- how. Palestinians live on that drive from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. You have to go along side what's Israelis call the security wall what Palestinians call the separation barrier it's a very imposing. Concrete wall twenty feet high. Now much of it is covered with graffiti it runs the length of the border between the West Bank and Jerusalem several hundred miles. And yes that did the differences between. The roads -- and -- you can say between the west bank and Israel is fairly -- the West Bank is made up of a very complex system of bridges tunnels. Checkpoints walls -- -- roads built by by Israel. In part because in the West Bank there -- some 300000. Israeli settlers living alongside the two and a half million Palestinians and Israel does take pains to keep to keep those two populations apart. Now of course many Palestinians can't come into Israel and nor can they go east into Jordan without going through Israeli security. So many Palestinians feel like -- trapped net and so even though. -- a President Obama barely scratched the surface of this very complex system by just going through one checkpoint. Palestinians were in fact quite happy that he at least got to see some of it. Now what we mentioned earlier and that the president is in Amman and he is meeting with King Abdullah. The second what do we expect they will be discussing today. -- King Abdullah and his father before him king Hussein -- some of the closest allies Arab allies. That the US has had so it's very important for President Obama to sit down with King Abdullah it is very important juncture in the Middle East. But we expect them to not just talk about now in this press conference but in the meetings that will follow tonight. There's some of the same issues that were discussed here in Israel the Palestinian territories. Namely Syria. And it's the the Palestinian Israeli peace process -- were also expecting him to touch on domestic reforms in Jordan to the last two years of the Arab Spring there has been unrest in Jordan not nearly on the same level as we've seen in places like. Yemen Tunisia. Libya Egypt Syria but there has been unrest which was unprecedented we have heard calls. For the -- to step down since he has undertaken some reforms we expect the President Obama. Will speak with him about that as the US has been urging him to undertake these reforms loosen up. His grip on power and and make it more of a constitutional monarchy. More. Alex yesterday the president gave his statements on how the ongoing conflict in Syria and Bashar Al Asad regime is hurting Israel. Cool in Jordan is supporting who is Jordan supporting in Syria. Jordan and King Abdullah are firmly on the side of the United States Europe Turkey. Allied with the opposition against a president Bashar Al Assad of Syria -- King Abdullah said this week that he believes president decides. Days are numbered he has said that if he were -- side that she would step down. Jordan's intelligence service has been one of the most valuable assets the United States. Jordan borders Syria so that they've got great visibility. Into Syria monitoring Syria there are also American forces military forces. Court training Syrian rebels -- recently there was a small group of several hundred rebels who receive training. From American forces they most recently went back into Syria -- ago -- It's in Jordan is really best interest to make sure that this conflict comes to an end soon there's a lot of trade that goes on. Between Syria and Jordan but perhaps more urgently -- somewhere between 500000. And a million Syrian refugees. We're living in refugee camps and in the city's. In Jordan and so that's really taking its hole on the Jordanian economy. On the Jordanian infrastructure. And remember Jordan Jordan's population is only six million people so when you've got somewhere -- half million a million refugees that's that's a significant portion of the population. Well -- the president Alex yesterday gave his support for a quote independent. A viable and contiguous Palestinian safe are we likely to hear more language like that today. Absolutely out expected in this press conference -- you're gonna hear both presidents. Obama and King Abdullah the Second voiced strong support for -- two state solution for an independent Palestine in Gaza and the West Bank. Jordan's king in recent days specifically in an interview a recently with the Atlantic magazine has expressed skepticism. That's -- that a two state solution can even come about but they will keep working towards it. Now when the president goes back to Washington tomorrow secretary of state John Kerry is actually gonna stay in the region. Continue talks in Jordan in Israel. In the Palestinian territories one of the first things that he's doing since taking over from Secretary Clinton is to try and jump start this peace process again so that's going to be one of his main focuses. In the coming days weeks and months but I was just speaking with a Palestinian official just a couple hours ago expressed serious reservations about the prospect of peace talks. And I have to -- Israeli officials also agreed that. And -- they're not very they're not terribly optimistic that negotiators will be back at at the negotiating table anytime soon. Well well it was interesting Alex yesterday when -- President Obama met with president Mahmoud Abbas. And in Ramallah. He seemed to indicate that in his view that this two state solution was still possible even in even in the face of those controversial settlement. Being built. -- by Israel he was urging Israelis in -- and Palestinians of course your resume those. Stalled peace talks what is your senses is the hold up really. Those controversial settlements. And certainly the Palestinians think so -- the international community believes that the settlements they consider this on settlements to be illegal. You haven't heard President Obama go that far the Palestinians is that you have said that. A -- to settlement activity is a precondition. For peace talks and yesterday. The president struck that down not saying that that shouldn't be an obstacle to peace talks he didn't say that -- illegal he he didn't criticize them beyond saying. That that that they were not constructive. That sorry that they're not constructive towards a peace talks and that's really as far. As he wins if you -- an Israeli why. Doesn't the prime minister. Impose halts to settlement building they'll just respond what we've tried this before. In fact when one President Obama came into office. The prime minister Netanyahu did impose a ten months. Halt on settlement building and expansion in orders to resume peace talks but they didn't go anywhere at the time. And and and now also during his press conference yesterday the president's press conference. There were some hecklers. When he was at the Jerusalem convention center speaking before a group of young folks and lot of people thought that he handled it well by saying this is part of the lively debate but what is your sense. After. President Obama has been in the Middle East for a couple of days. While the reception that he is Kenneth. There really two existing perceptions. If you look acts the Israelis. I don't think it. President Obama could have had a warmer reception. Before he came many Israelis were skeptical. Has a tense nervous about Obama not necessarily believing that he was the biggest supporter of Israel but from the moment that he got off the plane. He was back slapping -- hugging Israeli leaders like President Shimon Peres. And -- prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and he really warmed up. The Israeli public through his actions and most notably through that that you mentioned and in which he spoke. In glowing terms about Israel. I just want to show you this is one of Israel's main newspapers called -- I don't know it is actually the biggest newspaper Israel and this as -- below lives but which means. You're not alone. -- lines from president Obama's speech and it was it's one lines -- that has that has been -- -- that is graced the front pages of several Israeli newspapers today. But if you're looking over the Palestinian side the reaction really was the polar opposite it was very cool the Palestinians. Are frustrated angry. Basically -- what we are talking about earlier that that the president come didn't come out. Stronger against settlements. The Palestinian officials -- speaking with earlier sent to me we don't understand why -- President Obama even tame the situation is exactly the same as it was when he arrives at the Palestinians elected got very little -- anything at all out of this visit. Well Alex just this morning though Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologize for the attack on the Gaza flotilla. That happened back in May of 2010 some would say. That was a surprising move we saw. Perhaps that olive branch was at a surprising moves. Absolutely it was actually groundbreaking you could argue that it was the first concrete move the first concrete diplomatic step to come out of -- -- its president Obama's trip it's certainly came at the behest of the urging a President Obama and in fact. President Obama was briefly -- that call today between prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And prime minister received paragon. Of Turkey this is a very big move -- and the relations since. That not be Marmara flotilla as it's known in which nine Turkish activists worked shields the relations have been very very strains. And Turkey has been demanding an apology. From Israel which Intel today the -- prime minister has refused to gifts following this phone call between premise starter -- and prime minister Netanyahu. A statement was released by Netanyahu's office in which he not only apologized but offered to compensate. Did the families of the victims. -- set up a bit more found that -- with Turkish Prime Minister. Heard -- Juan it is that appalled that you believe are or that. It's being -- it was made at the behest. President Obama. Absolutely it it to and in fact the White House put out a statement saying. That there are very happy that the two sides had reconciled both Turkey and Israel are. Crucial allies. Four -- four the United States in this region for a variety of issues. Not just in the Israeli Palestinian peace process. Syria Iran. And a variety of others are all very big players and so it certainly helps the United States -- it's that the two sides have come together just a bit more on that flotilla. Does he -- was back in in May 2010 it was sailing from Turkey towards. Gaza when it was boarded by. Israeli defense forces by the Israeli navy. And that's when this altercation took place we have seen a bit of warming of relations in the lead up two this apology today but -- certainly came out of the blue. -- and switching gears just a bit. And let's discuss this Syrian refugee situation in. We know that Jordan is seeing a significant number of Syrian refugees -- for us. The border a million by some estimates and we know they're talking about it in private. Do we expect to hear about this in public perhaps during a press conference today. They could talk about it tonight's I certainly think that it's that King Abdullah will bring it up he's in need of aid and then and the United States has recently pledged another sixty million dollars. In aid. The million refugees figure is the number of refugees that have sled the Syrian fighting to the surrounding countries and who have registered. With the United Nations we believe that number to be. Far higher. And is Syria really only has. A population of 23 million people we believe that another two million are internally displaced. So you're talking several million people who have been displaced as a result of this fighting it's it's it it's that dire problem. And is certainly one that President Obama and King Abdullah. Are going to address right now because -- some serious action needs to be taken. They're all sorts of humanitarian questions is there enough water is there enough -- -- not shelter they -- to -- in Jordan. And it in the northern part of Jordan Jordan near the Syrian border is. Out in the middle of the desert they've had a lot of issues they have daily riots -- Jordan and Turkey. Are two of the countries that have taken in most of the refugees they've also gone into. Neighboring Iraq neighboring Lebanon. And we're going to continue to see. This flood of refugees pour out. As as we now -- the third year of this Syrian civil war. And now Alex the president indicated at least in his speech. At the Jerusalem convention center. And that the three issues that he believed to define our times especially when it relates to the Middle East -- security. Peace. And prosperity and -- and talking about the peace. The president was was. Sort of advised that peace with other people's. Was necessary not just peace with autocrat. And now we see after. Visiting with the Palestinian Authority and and with Israel he's meeting with. And a so called autocrat. King what is your sense of how that will be Percy. Well you can't really put King Abdullah the Second on the same level as. Necessarily someone like. Mubarak in Egypt -- -- -- In -- are Saleh in Yemen. The it was a very. Strong point that he was trying to make and basically -- telling Israel. That you have to come to the table you have to recognize that the world around you is changing. That the exit of the regimes around -- changing you can no longer rely on these. These dictators who control. -- -- iron sister countries you really have to get along with the peoples as well and that's why. It's gonna be so important for the president and King Abdullah to be talking about those internal reforms. In in Jordan and it's. If you believe what you read if you believe what King Abdullah saying he's fully cognizant of the -- that he has to bring about reforms he's got to give. A more power to the prime minister -- to the parliament to the people because you are seeing increasing unrest you're seeing. As you have and other countries a growing strength among islamists. Among the Muslim Brotherhood. He certainly has a problem. You and your your rights in in the sense that their -- there it there are some. Autocratic overtones to his brain -- a very strong internal security service that is very controlling. Of the population so. I can imagine that secretary of State's John Kerry and President Obama will sit down -- the King Abdullah tonight and go over there probably in rather signed detail some of the reforms that that he's planning in the coming months. And Alex I know that we are waiting. Before a press conference that me. Should be beginning. Shortly but I think we have a little bit more time. To talk and I want to turn back to. -- President Obama is meeting with of course the Palestinian authority president Mahmoud. -- in Ramallah. What is your sense. Much of what came out. Of that meeting because so many people believe that this. Should've stalled peace talks between. The Israelis and the Palestinians. Is is with sort of that -- crux of -- out what's President Obama wanted to address. During this Middle East War. Absolutely it was interesting to see President Obama come off -- his helicopter. In the -- cuts which is the presidential compound. In Ramallah yesterday where he was greeted by President Mahmoud Abbas along with other Palestinian officials. It was noticeably cooler frost year than the reception that he'd received at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. The day before by President Shimon Peres prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And other Israeli officials. And then when that the American delegation sat down -- the Palestinian delegation. It was warm but it certainly was in the same. You know -- -- me visited the back slapping the hugging that we saw between the US and Israeli side there was a lot more contention Palestinians we'll tell you today that. If you look at the amount of time that President Obama spent in the Palestinian territories with Palestinian leaders there's just a few hours yesterday it was less than an hour today. And they'll say that that's a sign of how little President Obama actually supports. The Palestinian. People in their quest for -- for an independent states that the main frustration. Among the Palestinians. Has been that. -- President Obama came into office -- such great fanfare he gave this this speech in Cairo where he called. The way to the Palestinians lives in tolerable we didn't hear any of that same language on this trip and so. Right now we don't know exactly what was sanity in that meeting between that the Palestinian. And the American delegations and the two presidents. But I did speak to Palestinian official earlier. Who said that very little came out of it -- that President Obama didn't put forward any new ideas that he didn't put forward any. Ideas about how to implement. His vision for a Palestinian state and the quote that that he gave me was that Obama left the way he came were wondering why he came at all. And the fact that he just he simply called these these settlements. These Israeli settlements the West Bank which Palestinians really see as the main obstacle to peace talks the fact that President Obama just call them. Unproductive. Or not helpful didn't go nearly far enough for the Palestinians. Now where does Hezbollah fit in here because we haven't heard much. Actually I'm sorry Alex the press conference is about to start let's take our viewers right. Mr. President if you allow me -- -- myself and all your opinions to. -- you and your distinguished delegation back here and Jordan. I fondly remember your -- here but several years ago when senator. And it is a great delight to welcome back to Jordan. As the president of the United States enjoying your second term. We are delighted with the in depth discussions that we're very very fruitful. On strategic and historic partnership. And you have been an old friend -- -- the United States for so many decades. We have very grateful to use administration. -- well as congress. And the American people for the continued support. Has been thrown to Jordan over so many years. And the US assistance. But that's helped us throughout so many years has allowed -- to -- -- Jordan to where we are today and hopefully. Will continue to help us the house shared goals of development security and regional peace. We did have the opportunity to discuss Syria. And obviously we -- horrified. By the loss of life and the brutality. The conflict. We extremely concerned. At risk of prolonged. Sectarian. Conflict. That if it continues now as we're seeing -- -- the fragmentation. Of Syria. Which obviously would have disastrous consequences. On the region for generations to -- -- therefore his immediate is important to have immediate need for an inclusive political transition. That ends the conflict. And the threats that emanate from. What we -- facing now today obviously is an urgent need for international. Community to help in. Humanitarian assistance. To catch up to the challenges that we have facing as the country's. -- Syria. And it only do we need to look at the ability to stockpile humanitarian supplies. To the Syrian people inside the country. But also to be able to assist those. -- flat. Jordan today is hosting by -- the market numbers. Syrian refugees. The numbers have just exceeded 460000. Syrians. That is 10%. Of our population. And the alarming figures if the rates continue as we are seeing today I will probably double by the end of the year. So the Americans in the audience that's equivalent. Of thirty million refugees crossing into the United States possibly -- about going up to sixty billion. -- by the end of the year -- 22 populations. The refugee camp in the most -- -- -- two -- is the fifth largest city. In two. And obviously this is that -- economic and financial costs due to the influx. Has further history. The economy. That is already under considerable external pressures. With an unstable region a sluggish global economy is still -- But having said that has already moved into we have so grateful to the US assistance in solely. This enormous responsibility. And together we continue to appeal to the international community. For more help. To face this humanitarian. Element. We had the opportunity obviously to talk about peace process and we are very delighted. By the vision and depth of wisdom that the president -- Over the possible -- it is stripped with the Israelis and Palestinians. The -- -- reiterated Jordan's commitment to the peace process and the crucial importance. -- the US leadership in resuming the Palestinian Israeli negotiations. Based on the two state solution. There is simply. No other -- no other alternative. Two state solution is the only way to go. And if you compare that also with the -- -- radicalization. Of Syria together with the impasse in the peace process. This is going to be a serious threat. Two enormity what. Each. I believe there is a window of opportunity to make a serious push for resuming negotiations. On the final -- issues. But the window I believe -- -- closing primarily due to increasing settlement activities and so there -- time afterwards. -- Austria had the opportunity. With prime minister has admitted. To share details of drones home grown reform model and -- supporting road map. We believe that we have a model that is has a clear. And gold. -- parliamentary government with milestones brokerages. Built on a strong democratic institutions that guarantees. Checks and balances of proper democracy. And our parliament and -- you constitutional. Court. We also have a new independent elections commission. And we are looking at Jordan as a model for this evolution. Consensual. And peaceful. And ensures tourism openness tolerance. Moderation and unity and equally as important a level playing field. This will ensure safeguards for civil liberties and political rights and obviously encourage political participation. Today we're looking forward to a prime minister is anything plumbing is olive -- government hopefully in the next couple weeks. Based on his consultations with parliament. Which is an extension of the same consultation process that led to his designation. As a result receiving the highest number of nominations so I'm very proud of the progress so far. The hard work is definitely happens. This is an opportunity and -- -- what we're -- is the third -- in the Middle East. We are saying that the Arab Spring is behind this we -- what I'm looking now at the -- summer for actual. Which means that we will -- -- -- must -- it's going to be a bumpy. And difficult road but I'm -- -- the process and I am very excited about the future so again Mr. President very welcome to Jordan. Wish you all the success and what you believe achievement possible things -- hope that the success will continue this. -- much. Well it's a great pleasure Rebecca Jordan. -- department friends it's -- to -- the -- Thank you for your kind words Spector ordered people -- Extraordinary warmth and hospitality. That I remembered well from my first visit as -- senator. The thing -- mainly remember when I came here was that his majesty was kind of personally driving -- the airport. I won't tell -- how -- he was going but. Secret Service I don't think could keep up so. Nevertheless. We're very much appreciative pretty well me and my delegation. The reason I'm here -- Jordan is an invaluable -- It is a great friend. We've been working together since the early years of the kingdom. Under his majesty's great grandfather could develop first gave his life in the name -- Today our partnership -- development education health science. Technology. Improve the lives -- people's. Our -- security cooperation. Helps keep your citizens and -- safer from terrorism. The military police help train other security forces from Palestinian Authority to Yemen. Especially grateful. -- his -- who like his father. More allies but Moscow saw when -- -- As a force for peace. In -- and to -- The -- deeply and personally. And strengthen ties between our countries that's why -- the first Arab -- -- -- in the Oval Office when I became president. And I very much appreciate the work we've -- together broad range of challenges sought. Company Jordan build what is already very strong foundation and to deepen what has already. Extraordinary cooperation. As -- -- there was -- hear from him about. An uncertain political reforms that are underway here and I want to commend the people of Jordan on this year's parliamentary elections. Which represented a positive step toward a more transparent credible. And inclusive political process. I appreciated -- -- his majesty's plans for a parliamentary government response to the aspirations of the Jordanian people and I very much welcome his commitment. Two active citizenship where citizens play a larger role in the future of this nation. In -- -- -- so much change and tumble across the region. His majesty recognizes Jordan has. A great opportunity to show the benefits genuine peaceful. Including stronger political parties -- governments. And transparency all of which makes government more effective. And make sure that. The people feel a connection to their current. Your majesty you've been a driving force for these -- you can be assured that the United States will continue to work with you and prime minister sort. As you build on this progress. We also discussed the economic progress. That. Has to come with the political progress. The Jordanian government is working hard to manage its current budget challenges. I think his majesty outlined. -- enormous pressures that Jordan. It is experiencing. Often not because many factors internal but rather a range of external factors as well. And I recognize that while the economic reports are different. They are essential over the long term -- -- -- growth and opportunity and dynamism. In the economy that will help the Jordanian people achieve their -- so we want you to succeed. So my administration's therefore working with congress to provide loan guarantees to Jordan this year. But together I believe we can help deliver the results would -- -- Jordanians deserve this either. Schools let the roads improved. Health care clean water all enhance. -- to. I know a lot of Jordanians -- particularly young people to get a job or to turn entrepreneurial skills. Into a business that creates more jobs. I was probably well. Some young Jordanians to the entrepreneurship. Summit that I host affect Washington and we're gonna continue to focus on creating economic opera. The people here and opportunities as people -- -- We spent a good deal of talk. And I updated as -- as. When I was in the box. -- -- of my speech yesterday I believe -- side steps that both sides could take to build confidence and trust and move. A serious negotiation people. We're not there yet but. I'm confident that it can happen. In part because it must have. It will be good for the Israelis. And it will be good for the house. I'm very grateful for his majesty's -- to advance its efforts. As has been true in the past his majesty and Jordan. -- be critical. To make progress towards a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. And we spent a significant amount of time -- -- concert. I want to commend his majesty for his leadership and I want to commend the Jordanian people four. There. Compassion. During its -- difficult time. For their neighbors. His majesty was the first Serb leader to publicly call on Assad to step down because the horrific violence that was being inflicted. On certain people. Jordan has played a leading role in trying to begin a political transition toward a new government. Working together to strengthen. A credible Syrian opposition. We share towards concerns about violence spilling across borders so. One -- -- -- -- to make it clear it the United States is committed to the security of Jordan. Which is backed by our strong alliance. As has been mentioned during this crisis Jordanian people have displayed. Extraordinary generosity but. The -- us. So many refugees. Inevitably. Is showing. Every day. To neighbors -- home. But this is -- -- Burke and the international community needs to step up to make sure that. They are helping to shoulder this -- The United States or we'll certainly do our part we are already the single. Largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people. Some of this has helped people here in Jordan and today I'm announcing -- -- administration will work with congress to provide Jordan with an additional. 200 million dollars in budget support. This year -- -- cures for Syrian refugees and Jordanian communities affected. By this crisis this will be more humanitarian assistance basic services. Including education for. Syrian children so far from home whose lives have been a bad. Think as parents we can only imagine. How heartbreaking that must -- for. Any parent. See their children having to go through the kinds of -- that they -- experience. Our cooperation -- -- an example. The partnership between the United States and Jordan improves the lives not only. The Jordanian people but peoples across the region so get your majesty -- -- Express my hand. Great appreciation for our partnership. I want thank you and the Jordanian people for the friendship and hospitality. Shown me and to my fellow Americans. And just as -- president -- -- -- -- -- mom on my last visit looking forward -- -- Patrick tomorrow. Weather permitting. One of the great wonders of history that the world can experience thanks to the -- -- dedication. Jordan. And its people you you. I managed to break that impasse in the peace process by an -- Amman talks -- You -- Palestinians together. At the negotiating -- Now there was not a whole lot of that do you have anything in mind. -- and it's have been quote. Mr. President just applaud such as well but let me let me know about the two sides need to be brought it back to a -- negotiating David. Well -- at this stage obviously. Lost -- we. Captain Israelis and Palestinians. Died good going simply because we wanted to keep the process -- -- as much as we could. Knowing full well that we are waiting for this opportunity the president has I think I've finished a very successful this is to both Israelis and Palestinians. We have been in close contact with State Department leading up to this visit. I think. Secretary Perry has been very -- keeping expectations. Low. So that what I call the homework stage. Is still in effect obviously. Consulting at this stage. Of how to build on this visit and I believe that as wheelchair notes we will have a better understanding of next -- what is the next step. Jordan's role is to be that as a facilitator and support with the Israelis and Palestinians. To bring them closer together so that I believe in the next several weeks to this -- months. We have. That the homework -- the framework. The logical choice to come to can't -- So Jordan obviously we won't hopes to Israelis -- things together if that's what they want. And we always have been in this important for both sides and as I said earlier. We see. A window of opportunity and I believe the statements that the president has made to -- -- and to the Palestinian. Is. An opportunity -- galvanize the effort. And one that we will stand by and support as we compare notes both of the president's visit to the three countries. More personal I think his -- described. What I try to accomplish on this trip very well -- -- to make -- -- remarkable. We all recognize how vital. It could be. To see a resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. We set expectations. Role precisely because there's been a lot of talk. Over. Decades. But it hasn't produced results that are but wants this. And so my approach here has been let me listen to the party's first. -- we find out exactly what the road blocks are for progress. Let me. Discussed with them ways that we might move those roadblocks out of the way in order to. Achieve. A concrete result. And I've also been modest because frankly. These will not be achieved what's ultimately the parties themselves. Want peace. I think all of us in the international community share this frustration. Why can't we get the problem solved. I think the Israeli people. Are frustrated that they feel -- this problem's not -- they don't enjoy the isolation. That has resulted from this conflict. The Palestinian people's certainly feel that frustration. You know as I've mentioned in my speech yesterday. I had -- -- with young people. Who are going out. Unable soon. Do the basic things that. A free people. Should expect they should be able to do. Simple things like trapped. Or drawing the kinds of privacy in their own homes that. So materialistic program. And these are children these are young people these young men and women who as I described yesterday. Very different from my daughter's. And they deserve the same -- They deserve. This clout be lifted from. From their lives because they Dynegy. And they have enormous protection. I don't want them living up under. A sense -- constricted possible. I also don't want the Israeli people continually looking over their shoulder thinking that at any point the house maybe. Hit by a rocket. Or -- may be blown up. And so. -- part of the tragedy of of the situation has been that. Neither side is getting exactly what they want but. It's not been possible to break out of old patterns. And a difficult history. So. My -- -- an expectation. Is that as a consequence of us doing our homework. We can explore what the parties. A mechanism for them to sit back down. To get rid of some of the old assumptions to think in new ways. And to get this done. I think if if if if it gets stuck in a timely way. The Israeli people will be safer. And appellate Palestinian people will be for it. And children on both sides. We'll have a better life and as a consequence the -- and -- whole as a whole will be strengthened and the world will be safe. I can't guarantee that that's gonna happen. What I can guarantee it will make the effort. I guarantee as -- secretary Kerry is going to be spending a good deal of time in discussions with the parties. What I can assure news bit nobody feels greater interest in us achieving this -- his majesty. And so we're just gonna keep on plugging away. The one thing I did say I think it's both sides -- the window of opportunity still. Exists. But it's getting more and more difficult. The mistrust is buildings and started. The logistics. Providing security for his -- it more difficult. Technologies. And the logistics of creating a contiguous. And functioning Palestinian state become more difficult. With settlements and so both sides have to begin to. Think about their long term strategic interests instead of worrying about. Again a short term tactical advantage here or there. And and say to themselves what's the big picture and and how do we get this done. And that's ultimately what. I believe both peoples want which is why I think it appears very interest -- -- my speech. In Jerusalem. Some of the strongest applause came. When I addressed the Israeli people and I said you have to think about these Palestinian children like her own -- The tapped into something that they understood. Inherently. And that gives me -- -- I think that that shows there is. Possibility there but it's hard and I what I also said it was that. Ultimately. People have to help provide the structures for leaders -- take some very difficult risks. So that's -- want to speak directly to the Israeli people and to put the Palestinian people so that that they help empower their leadership. Two make some very difficult decisions tradeoffs in order to achieve. A compromise -- neither side is gonna get a 100% what they want. -- that you have said repeatedly on this trip and before that all options are on the table to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon including. Military action yesterday the supreme leader of Iran came out asset in any action is taken against his country he will raise the city's. In Israel and Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground so my question to you is are you prepare. To deal with the retaliation the fallout that would come after a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. And he's been too -- up dollars -- -- what you think. What happened here what would be the aftermath of a military strike -- taken by the United States or by Israel against Iran what is a bigger threat. To -- to stability in this region Iran with nuclear weapons or another war. In this region. Brooke first small done and I'm -- -- engagement how much hypotheticals. Because. What I've said. From the moment I came in office. Was that the best resolution. Of the situation is. Through diplomacy. And I continue to believe that. -- We have organized. The international community around us sanctions -- That is having an impact on Iraq. Not because we forced other countries to do it because they recognize that. If you trigger a nuclear arms race in this region. As volatile as it is. If you have the prospect of nuclear weapons getting in the hands. Terrorists and extremists. That it's not -- Israel is threatened. It's a whole range of people that could be for. We're talking right now about possibility of -- using. Chemical weapons. -- would be the conversation. If Syria possesses nuclear weapons. So this so this is not just. Problem for Israel would not just a problem for the United States. It's a regional and worldwide problem and by the way. We have been consistent in saying that nonproliferation. Is a problem around the goal. Not just would respect world. But the fact of the matter is that Iran has not been able to establish credibly with the international community -- in fact it is simply pursuing. Peaceful nuclear power. There's a reason why it's subject to all these. Resolutions. And violations. Identified by the United Nations. That's not something we made up. There are a lot of other countries who have the technical pastor but for some reason they are able to get right with the international community. Iran has not been able there's -- now if in fact. What the supreme leader has said is the case which is that. Developing a nuclear weapon would be on -- -- And that. Iran has no interest. In developing nuclear weapons. Then there should be a practical. Verifiable way to assure the international community that it's not doing so. And this problem will be solved. To the benefit of the region and to the benefit of the Iran and people. -- -- people are celebrating on the rules. -- And every year right deliver. Nor -- message. And I. Reminded. There are a great civilization. They have an extraordinary history they have unbelievable talent. They should be fully. International community. Can thrive and build business and expand commerce. And there should be exchanges and travel and interactions. We'll -- -- -- people. And everyone else including the United States. That should be the -- Not threats. -- Israeli cities to the ground. A part of part of the frustration that I think we all feel sometimes -- It seems that people spend all their time organizing around how. They can gain advantage over other people or inflict violence on other people -- Isolate other people instead of trying to figure out how do we solve problems this is a solvable problem. If in fact run stoppers are integral and so we're gonna continue to. Apply the pressure that we have. And they nonmilitary ways to try to resolve problems. We will continue to try to pursue diplomatic solutions to the situation. But yes I have said as president of United States. That. -- will maintain every option. That's available. To prevent. Iran from getting a nuclear weapon because I think the consequences. For the region. And for the world. Would be extraordinarily dangerous I -- My hope. An expectation is is that. Among a menu of options. The option that involves. Negotiations discussions. Compromise. And resolution. Of the problem. Is the one that's exercise but as president United States. I would never take. Any optional. There's very little room that I would like to to what the president said I think looking from the Canadian point of view. The challenges that Jordan faces as we look around the region the challenges of what the Israelis and the Palestinians and will be facing 2012. Instability -- you're seeing it in Syria we have a consensus what's happening in Iraq any military action the moment whether Israeli or reunion. To me at this stage is this pandora's box because nobody can guarantee that the outcome -- We'll be so hopefully there is -- another way of resolving this problem. At a time was so much instability in the -- we just don't need another thing much. President Obama are wrapping up his Middle East trip with a Jordan's King Abdullah. The headline from King Abdullah a growing refugee crisis in his country. Nearly a half million Syrians have fled their country and its civil war. Numerically that would be the equivalent to thirty million people entering the United States over three years. King Abdullah also mentioned Jordan's commitment to the peace process and the negotiations between Israel and Palestine. He indicated that in his view the two state solution is the only way to go he also said that they were running out of time because. Of the settlement activity politically he said the Arab Spring is behind us the Arab summer. Is before us from President Obama he indicated the Jordan. Is an -- valuable ally to the United States he made promises of new economic aid to Jordan pending democratic reforms. In that country of course he also says that there was the crisis in Syria they need to be addressed and that the US was committed to the security. Of Jordan. This has been an ABC news special report -- sunny Hostin in New York we now return you to your scheduled programming. Since -- -- special with the from the ABC news now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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